13 cheap and easy Halloween costumes

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By in Lifestyle, Shopping. Updated October 2016.

Halloween is a major date on the student calendar, but balancing your constume cost with the entertainment value can be hard. Not with our ideas!Cheap Halloween Costume IdeasWhether you’re the self-proclaimed king or queen of fancy dress or prefer something a little more vanilla, we’ve got a whole host of ideas that won’t break the bank. That means avoiding shelling out £50+ on this thing

Not only that, we’ve specially picked costumes which won’t take you hours to complete and can be made with things lying around the house. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by just how good they are.

Whatever you decide to don on the big night, make sure to snap a pic and send it in here, along with any top tips!

Quirky ideas

  1. Facebook profile

    c6e32817dca0e34853e7a082e3b9f6eeThrow together a white sheet of cardboard and some creative drawing skills and you yourself can be a walking, talking internet sensation.

    Bring along some pens or a Polaroid camera to make it a more interactive experience. Another adaptation of this is to simply attach a book to your head…geddit? Ok, maybe not.

    It doesn’t stop there either. You could feature yourself as a Youtube video or even go retro and try a Myspace one.

    Cost: White card, £1.50 & pens, £2.

  2. Bag of jelly beans

    4ea6532b65c13230da532edd3f5015e5Grab yourselves a clear (and clean!) bin bag and make a few holes for limbs and fill to your heart’s content with balloons.

    Weave a ribbon through a few smaller holes at the top of the bag and tie loosely at the neck so it doesn’t end up at your ankles (for a few hours, at least, until the bag inevitably falls to bits).

    Walking around inside a bag of balloons won’t be easy, but it’ll definitely add to the entertainment!

    Cost: 20 bin bags, £2.50 – you’ll need to bring back-up in case of any tearages & 50 balloons £1.44 here just to be safe!

  3. Silent movie stars

    3-1Everyone owns some clothing which fits into the white and black category, right? And with a dash of white face paint it’s exceptionally easy to look like you’ve just walked off a silent movie set.

    This idea’s especially great if you aren’t a massive fan of the people you’re going to party with, as silently drinking in the corner can be declared part of the act.

    Similarly, if you happen to have a stripy top, white gloves and a berret lying around – you’re the perfect mime!

    Cost: White face paint, £2 and print off some witty placards to take along with you so you can stay in costume whilst addressing the important stuff like “Where can I find the vodka?”

  4. Fried egg

    bbd633454d3f58eeeea8761d1839b5c8Who’s to say what can’t be achieved with a bit of white card and a yellow washing up bowl?

    Aside from reminding everyone of what they’ll be forcing down their gullet to fight the hungover a few hours later, this cosey is super easy and will go down a treat.

    Bear in mind the logistics of travel in this instance – climbing into a taxi dressed as a fried egg will be…interesting.

    Cost: White card, £1.50 & plastic bowl, £1 plus string to strap two sides together.

  5. 404 error

    404errorCredit: Funstubstance.com
    Definitely one for the tech buffs amongst you – this 404 costumer error page involves minimum effort but with maximum kudos.

    Upstage everyone effortlessly by donning your witty ‘I’m above all this fancy dress sh*t’ look.

    Cost: White tee, £3 from Primark, fabric pens, £2.99 per pack.

Traditional ideas

  1. Mummy

    photo_by_sally_rae__1151364639Quite possibly the easiest and most effective Halloween costume in the history of the universe, and chances are you’ll have everything you need in your possession right now (unless you’re one of those student houses that never has toilet roll).

    To prevent the bog roll from tearing and leaving a trail behind you everywhere you go, mix things up with some white bandages at the end as this will keep things in place.

    For added effect, you can also splash some fake blood around or red food colouring will do the trick. Just be careful not to turn all your clothes red.

    Also consider bounding yourself in two halves, otherwise you’ll encounter some issues when you need to pee (although you’ll never be short of bog roll for once!).

    Cost: 6 toilet rolls, £2.

  2. Anyone who’s anyone… but dead

    ZomvisElvis, Shakespeare, Marilyn Monroe… this is particularly handy if you’ve dressed up as them before – just do it again, but the dead way. Recycle, baby!

    Add some fake blood, pale white face paint and some scratches à la eyeliner and you will instantly look like you’ve put in a zillion times more effort than the guys dressed up as Hulk or the Smurfs…again.

    Cost: Cheap make up, £2 & pre-owned costume, free.

  3. Deceased doll

    halloween-makeup-bedt-doll-tutorials-2-1
    Nothing screams low-budget horror more than an eerie toy that’s seen better days (yes we know a doll can’t technically be deceased, but it’s all part of the crack, right?).

    Thankfully this costume is equally as low-budget as the rest. A simple, ripped up dress will do the trick, coupled with some inventive make up. Go for massive eyes, paled cracked face and pouting lips. Sorted.

    Another option is to go for a Day of the Dead doll (google is your friend here) in honour of the Mexican holiday on 1st November.

    Cost: Cheap make up £2.

  4. Ghoul/Skeleton

    66c1755bceb98a8a5723a19d04770df1Become a ghoul with a difference this year by destroying an old t-shirt to make a scary face shape and layering it with a different colour top.

    The same effect can work for a skeleton outfit by wearing all black and drawing bones on with chalk or using a white fabric pen.

    Some white facepaint and black eyeliner around the eyes will finish this one off nicely.

    Cost: 2 t-shirts, £3 each from Primark. White fabric pen (if using), £2.99.

  5. Ghost

    5-easy-diy-halloween-costumes-1-size-3Sheet ghosts are a staple of fancy dress: one old sheet with a couple of holes and you’re done – what’s not to love?

    Working out the perfect positions for some arm holes will involve much less pulling and tugging to keep the sheet in place, so take 10 seconds to do this too.

    Cost: A single white bed sheet new will cost you less than a tenner (but you can always use an old one lying around the house if you have one).

Special effort ideas

Everyone knows that one guy/girl at the party with a costume that just blows everything you ever knew out of the water. The great news is, you too can be that person.

Making something of epic proportions doesn’t have to cost you the earth, but be warned, these ideas will need a significant time investment. Totally worth it though.

  1. Rubik’s cube

    58600616_83051434b5We’ve heard of the Rubik’s cube party, but to be honest that’s a little outdated, especially when you could actually just be a Rubik’s cube.

    All you actually need is a cardboard box, coloured paper and paint and you will literally be the coolest person ever.

    Helpfully, the guy who pioneered this on live television, has handily uploaded a step by step guide to achieving the look #LEGEND.

    Cost: Cardboard boxes, free from supermarkets & coloured paper, £2.

  2. Lego brick

    d2639b5935596b620fd1feabebd50633Sticking with the theme of block shaped toys, because that’s what all the cool kids are wearing this season, we present you with the “Lego brick”.

    All you’ll need a massive cardboard box, some paint, yoghurt pots and glue and it’s pretty self explanatory!

    Cost: Cardboard boxes, free from supermarkets; paint, £1; yoghurt pots, free; glue, £2.

  3. Pop art character

    4365496972_04400cde4fAll you really need to make this work are face paints and hairspray, but this will take a fair amount of time to actually put together.

    We can tell you now though, it will be totally worth it. Go for plain, brightly contrasting clothing for max effect, too!

    Cost: Hairspray, £4;  face paints, £2.

Extra tips

realrainbowfancydressIf you just can’t get enough of all this halloween-y goodness then never fear, we’ve got even more bonus tips to help save dollar and imagination.

These saving tips can be applied to any costume (which is great if you weren’t a fan of any of our amazing ideas).

  • Try Primark – or even local charity shops when putting together your costume. You don’t need to shop in fancy dress shops to nail these looks! Another great option is to have a look at what’s available on swap sites, so you could even grab your costume for free.
  • Use what you already have – Make as much of your costume as possible and use things lying around your house. Time to get inventive – this option is much more fun anyway.
  • If you need to be lazy, shop smart – If you really can’t be bothered with the effort of making your own costumer, at least head to cheaper online stores rather than over-priced costume shops. Angels Fancy Dress is a good starting point and they also have deals such as 20% off throughout the year.
  • Check our deals section– As always, keep an eye on our student deals section, Facebook page, and we might have a few cheeky halloween deals popping up in our weekly deals round-up newsletter.
  • Seek out slightly faulty goods – Unpackaged or slightly dirty outfits and accessories can be sold at a much cheaper price, so keep an eye out in fancy dress shops! Who cares about a little mark here and there – it adds to the Halloween look!
  • Think outside the box – What’s not a fancy dress outfit now could easily become one with a bit of creativity.
  • Think inside the box – Cardboard boxes can be so many things it’s impossible to count!

 Got any nifty ideas of your own? Let us know in the comments!

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13 Responses to “13 cheap and easy Halloween costumes”

  1. brianna

    28. Oct, 2014

    Thanks I think I will wear an old pair of pj. I will put blood all over it and cut it up so I look dead. ; p

    Reply
  2. Tom T

    03. Jun, 2011

    The only one I didn’t see here is the Hobo…

    This comment is awaiting moderation.

    Reply
  3. Dave

    03. Mar, 2011

    Its gotta be ghouls, works every time….is cheap as

    This comment is awaiting moderation.

    Reply
  4. Lucy

    20. Nov, 2010

    This Xmas going to be wearing a short red dress, white stockings and the essential santa hat!

    Reply
  5. George

    20. Nov, 2010

    Great ideas guys, should have experiemented abit more myself this year. No ideas for Xmas parties yet, will have to start thinking soon though.

    This comment is awaiting moderation.

    Reply
  6. Laura Hampton

    05. Nov, 2010

    What a shame! Ah well, maybe next year 😛

    If anyone out there is planning Christmas fancy dress already, firstly you’re mega organised and, secondly, what are you planning?

    Reply
  7. Owen Burek

    05. Nov, 2010

    Don’t think I’ll be able to come up with a believable excuse to wear a dress at Christmas.. Think those days (or day) have gone!

    Reply
  8. Laura Hampton

    05. Nov, 2010

    Thanks guys!

    Owen – I think you look lovely in a dress… 😉

    My personal favourites are costumes which require thought as opposed to shop bought outfits, so it really pays to not pay!

    Looking forward to some awesome Christmas outfits guys.

    Reply
  9. Jake Butler

    04. Nov, 2010

    Cheers Owen for letting everyone know it’s me in a dress on the internet! I still think i look great though. That dress definitely brings out my figure.

    I agree with Owen. Great post!

    Reply
  10. Owen

    04. Nov, 2010

    Just wanted to make it clear that the crazed-looking guy in the photo is my housemate. Although it was my idea to go for the dresses in Primark.. I’m not embarrassed, they were a bargain!

    It’s a great read Laura, well done on your first article here! Looking forward to your next one..

    Reply
    • brianna

      28. Oct, 2014

      so you know the man in the picture.
      Is he a close friend or room mate

      Reply
      • Jake Butler

        28. Oct, 2014

        It was me but Owen was referring to an old picture in the article. It’s no longer up there.

        Reply
    • samsun001

      14. Mar, 2011

      wow this article is koooool

      Reply

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